The venue and the circumstances were different , but the result was the same.
Trevor Phillips used a hot start in the final round to win his second Spartanburg County Amateur championship.
He did just about the same thing in 2018 when he won his first county title at Three Pines Country Club .
In both tournaments, Reed Bentley finished second. The former Byrnes High school golfer got a little closer this time than in 2018, but Phillips was still able to claim the victory.
Three years ago Phillips said he always wanted to win a County Championship, after winning at Woodfin Ridge he added a little more.
“Winning this time is better than the first time,” he said. “This is my home course and I’ve played in the tournament here before. Winning here is really special and it means a lot to me,” he said.
While several other golfers held the lead after the first and second round, Phillips was always close.
In the first round, Phillips had a chance to take the lead, but an errant tee shot on the final hole kept him from shooting a 4-under par round and sharing the lead with future USC Upstate golfer Barrett Josey.
Phillips had to settle for a good par save on the finishing hole to trail the leader by a shot going into the second round.
On Saturday a pair of Woodfin Ridge members shot their way into a tie for the lead.
Allen Stepp, a five time mens club champion at Woodfin Ridge and Kyle Mathis shared the lead.
Mathis shot the best round of the tournament to tie for the second round lead. He carded a 5-under par 67. The two members posted a 139 total to start the final round at 5-under par.
Phillips again was close, but a bogey on 13 and a double on the 14th hole left him with a second round score of 1-under par 71, one shot behind the two leaders.
After an opening even par round, Bentley worked his way into the final four with a second round 4-under par 68 and like Phillips he was tied for second a shot behind the leaders.
In the final round, much like he did the last time he won the county, Phillips birdied 3 of his first 5 holes. It gave him the lead.
“On the front nine I hit a bunch of good wedges” he said. “I chopped the ball down the fairway with my irons, but on the back nine I started to feel the heat,” he said.
His bogey on number 11 came while Bentley was carding 3-birdies in 5 holes to cut Phillips’ 4-shot lead down to two.
“I hadn’t played a golf tournament in about a year and a half. I definitely felt the pressure,” Phillips said.
Second round co-leader Mathis dropped off the lead when he tripled seven and bogeyed eight.
Stepp, however was able to stay with the two younger golfers and held a share of the lead through the 8th hole.
He was able to stay within a shot of Phillips until the 15th hole, a par-3 over water.
“I was between clubs and the ball hit the bank and rolled back in the pond,” said Stepp. “Up until then I was playing pretty well, but I just couldn’t catch Trevor,” he said.
What turned out to be the hole that decided the tournament was number 17.
Phillips tee shot drifted into a fairway trap and his bunker shot left him short of the green.
When Phillips saved par, Bentley was in position to cut the lead to one shot going to the last hole.
Bentley hit a good drive and his second shot landed above the hole. His birdie putt raced past the hole and he missed the cup coming back and had to take a bogey.
“The last tournament I played was the county back in 2018,” said Bentley. “I’m proud of my scores. I had a putt on 17 for par, but missing that putt on 17, you can’t do that,” he said.
Phillips had a 2-shot lead playing the final hole. He made a solid par while Bentley birded the hole to finish in second place 1-shot behind the winner.
Bentley shot rounds of 72-68-69 for his 209 total while Phillips had rounds of 69-71-68 for a 208 total.
Stepp shot a final round 1-over par 73 to finish in third while Craig Parris was fourth at 214 and Mathis finished in fifth place.
Defending champion Kevin Roberts was the only other golfer to finish under par. The 3-time County Champion was sixth at 215.
Phillips grew up on the course just down the street from his families home and winning on his home course with his family and friends supporting him made the championship even more special.
“It feels different this time because its Woodfin. It is really great that I was able to win this here where I have grown up and played so much golf,” said the 2021 County Champion.
Stephen Boucher won the Tournament Division championship by 2-shots over Eric Stevens with Kevin Moore in third.
The Spartanburg County Amateur is presented by First Tee Upstate and is sponsored by Delaney’s Irish Pub, R.J. Rockers and Budweiser of Spartanburg.
Scores from the Spartanburg County Amateur https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/7237349147664239111
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf